2017 Life in our RV travel blog

Burnsville Lake - Bulltown campground

site of the Battle of Bulltown

Confederate burial site

7 unknown Confederate soldiers



hummer feeding

little fella

double hummers

dam at Burnsville Lake

hummer in the tree

The hummingbird watchbird

falls at Falls Mill

above the falls

The falls

more birds

bird in the bush

West Virginia

After we left Virginia, we headed north a bit into the state of West Virginia. Our destination was a stay at our first Army Corps of Engineers (COE) park on the 968-acre Burnsville Lake at the Bulltown Campground. The COE has built campgrounds and recreation areas all over the country – I believe all are located on rivers and the COE built dams to control flooding resulting in lakes. To give back to the communities whose land was seized as part of the flood control and dam building process, the Corps built campgrounds and day-use areas along the newly-created lakes. Another benefit is that these campgrounds carry fees that are much less than private campgrounds and usually less than state or county parks. This lake and the related amenities are part of the Ohio River Basin Flood Reduction System.

Bulltown Campground has 204 sites and consists of 5 loops - we are in "C" loop for a week. We are also without cell coverage while we are here. There are pockets of availability, such as at the waste treatment facility. However, it stinks there and I don’t want to spend much time. So, we either head into the town of Flatwoods about 12 miles away, or find some other high spot to check in with the world. Steve has ordered a cell booster through Amazon (of course) and we had it shipped to my cousin’s house in Pennsylvania. We’ll see them next weekend to pick up mail and other goodies from Amazon.

Thursday, we rode into Flatwoods to take care of some paperwork at the local bank and then found the tiny little post office to mail a package. Afterward, we did a little sightseeing and went to the site of a Confederate – Union battle which occurred on October 13, 1863 overlooking a bridge over the Little Kanawha River. It was a short battle but cost the Confederacy 7 soldiers. They are buried in a common grave on an overlook near the site of the battle. There is still evidence of bunkers where the soldiers hunkered down before and during the battle. The Battle of Bulltown lasted 12 hours and there is a reenactment biannually.

Friday, we both went out in our kayaks for a good paddle upstream. It was a beautiful day and we were out on the lake for a couple hours. That afternoon, we rode into “town” again, and Steve wanted to get some ice cream. I pointed out the local Custard Store, but he didn’t believe me that they sold ice cream. I had to give him the history about how in this part of the country, ice cream is known as frozen custard. He finally relented and acknowledged that I knew what I was talking about. It was yummy!

On the way back to the campground, we decided to ride out to the Burnsville Dam. Good golly – it was 15 miles of twisty narrow two-lane roads to get to the dam! I swore I heard banjo music a couple times – we were out in the boonies! Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938, construction of the dam began in 1972 and became operational in 1978. On the way back from the dam, a deer came running down the hill and came an inch from being a hood ornament for BAT. Whew – that is the 3rd deer we have seen in broad daylight since we have been here.

Saturday, I decided it was time for another pedicure, so we loaded up Steve’s kayak in the back of BAT and I drove him to a boat ramp up river at the day use recreation area. He decided to paddle up to the falls and we agreed to meet back at the campground boat ramp around 2pm. I got my pedicure in Flatwoods and then sat in BAT while I placed an order on Amazon and scheduled our mail to be delivered to my cousin’s house. Then I left to do a little shopping at the local Wal-Mart. I must say though that the clientele at this Wal-Mart seemed to be a little better dressed than expected. I didn’t see anybody in their pajamas!

I came back to Mo and unloaded the groceries and then watched the hummingbirds for a little while. Oh, I forgot to mention that we hung up a hummingbird feeder on Thursday morning and had visitors within a few minutes. We have had fun watching them! Anyway, then Scout and I drove BAT down to the boat ramp around 1:45 and waited for Steve to show up. He said the paddle to the falls was a bit longer than he thought it would be and that he had been paddling for 4 hours. I bet he sleeps well tonight! We came back to Mo and relaxed in the gravity chairs for a little while before I whipped up some Spaghetti and Meatballs for supper. After supper, we moved the hummingbird feeder away from Mo’s windows and hung it on the hook by the campsite marker. Poor little birdies are a little confused but seem to be gradually finding the new location of their feeder.

On Sunday we took a ride in BAT to see the falls at Falls Mill. We walked around a bit and took some more pictures. After that, we rode on north on Hwy 19 to see if would be possible to leave that way pulling Mo. Well, after getting riding twisties for about 20 miles, we decided that it would not be in our best interest to do that. So we will head south instead and hit the interstate to head north to our next stop in Pennsylvania.

Monday was a fairly lazy day – Steve did a little pre-move prep and I worked on cleaning out our closet so we could put away our winter clothes – hopefully, we won’t need those again til later in the year! We hung around outside the rest of the day and watched the hummingbirds. There is one male that is guarding the feeder and buzzes any other bird that comes close. We finally moved the feeder back to the window and that seemed to help. Crazy fun watching these hummers!

Today (Tuesday, June 13th) is our 6-month anniversary of being full-time RVers! Hard to believe we have been on the road that long and in some ways, it seems like yesterday. We’re having a blast with no end in sight!

On Wednesday, we head north to Tionesta Lake in NW Pennsylvania for a a two-week stay. This COE park is close to my cousin’s house in Oil City – looking forward to visiting with her and her family again. So that’s it from West Virginia – see ya on down the road aways!

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